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Tax or no tax? Preferences for climate policy attributes




Today, many countries around the world respond to the global warming and its consequences with various policy instruments such as e.g. taxes, subsidies, emission permit trading, regulations and information campaigns. In the economic literature, policy instruments have typically been analyzed with respect to efficiency, while little effort has been put on public preferences for these instruments. In this paper, an Internet-based choice experiment is conducted where respondents are asked to choose between two alternative policy instruments that both reduce the emissions of CO2 by the same amount. The policy instruments are characterized by a number of attributes; a technology-effect, an awarenesseffect, cost distribution, geographic distribution and private cost (presented in more detail in the paper). By varying the levels of each of the attributes, respondents indirectly reveal their preferences for these attributes. Half of the respondents are faced with instruments labeled by ‘tax’ and ‘other’, whereas the other half are faced with unlabeled instruments. As for the label, the results show that people dislike the ‘tax’. The results also show that people prefer instruments with a positive effect on environmentally-friendly technology and climate awareness. A progressive-like cost distribution is preferred to a regressive cost distribution, and the private cost is negatively related to the choice. Finally, the results indicate that Swedes want the reduction to take place in Europe but not necessarily in Sweden.

Suggested Citation

  • Brännlund, Runar & Persson, Lars, 2010. "Tax or no tax? Preferences for climate policy attributes," CERE Working Papers 2010:4, CERE - the Center for Environmental and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:slucer:2010_004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nick Hanley & Robert Wright & Vic Adamowicz, 1998. "Using Choice Experiments to Value the Environment," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 413-428, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Z. Eylem Gevrek & Ayse Uyduranoglu, 2015. "Public Preferences for Carbon Tax Attributes," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2015-15, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    2. Sven Rudolph & Friedrich Schneider, 2011. "Did the Japanese Patient Follow the Doctor's Orders? Mostly no! A Public Choice Analysis of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Schemes in Japan before and after the Earthquake," CESifo Working Paper Series 3639, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Spencer, Thomas & Carole-Anne, Senit & Anna, Drutschinin, 2012. "The political economy of Australia’s climate change and clean energy legislation: lessons learned," MPRA Paper 43669, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Sven Rudolph & Friedrich Schneider, 2013. "Political barriers of implementing carbon markets in Japan: A Public Choice analysis and the empirical evidence before and after the Fukushima nuclear disaster," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 15(2), pages 211-235, April.
    5. Andrea Kollmann & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Why Does Environmental Policy in Representative Democracies Tend to Be Inadequate? A Preliminary Public Choice Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(12), pages 1-25, November.
    6. Alló, Maria & Loureiro, Maria L., 2014. "The role of social norms on preferences towards climate change policies: A meta-analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 563-574.

    More about this item


    preferences; climate policy measures; choice experiment; web-survey;

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General

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